Hi guys! Welcome to my website ! Today in this article I will talk to you about the 10 things that you need to know before you start an e-commerce business in order to give your business the best chances to be successful. And more specifically, I will focus on the business side of starting an e-commerce business, not the technical side, I am not a computer expert. I give marketing advice and I talk about the latest marketing related news I think that this is the only website that is focused on marketing news,
1. E-commerce is a huge opportunity today
The first thing that you need to know if you are thinking about starting an e-commerce business is that e-commerce is a huge opportunity today. Many people complain about e-commerce now, they say that it is very saturated, that there is so many e-commerce websites out there, and there is so many sellers on Amazon, and that it is so competitive, and that it is so hard to make profit. But that is not completely true because e-commerce is competitive but also it is growing rapidly. Some experts estimate that between now and 2023, so in three years, global retail e-commerce sales will grow by 50%. That is a lot of growth!
2. Understand e-commerce business models
The second thing that you need to do if you want to start an e-commerce business is to understand e-commerce business models. So, what is a business model? A business model is the only way in which a company generates money. This includes all the resources that the company needs, all the activities that the company will need to do, all the partners that the company needs. And one thing that I would like to recommend to you when it comes to business models is to use the business model canvas to help understand and define your business model. The business model canvas is actually a framework, this is what it looks like. This framework contains all the components of a business model. You can use this framework to help understand what questions you need to ask for each component of the business model. To find this framework just do a quick Google search because this is a very famous framework and it will be really easy to find many variations of this framework with a simple Google search.
3. select a niche
the third thing that you need to do before you start an e-commerce business is to pick a niche for your business. This is really important, to have a niche or a focus for your business. E-commerce is very tricky, people think that they can start an e-commerce website and offer hundreds and thousands of products on the website. And that the more products that they have on the website the more sales they will get. And that is not true! Actually e-commerce websites that are focused and that have a clear niche do a lot better than generic e-commerce websites.
So why is e-commerce tricky like that? Traditional stores are limited by space, each store has a limited amount of space that they can use to display their products. While e-commerce businesses are not limited by space. You can start an e-commerce website and immediately list hundreds and thousands of products on the website. You don’t really have to hold inventory for your e-commerce business, there are some e-commerce business models that don’t involve holding inventory. So that is why people get tricked and they think that they should have as many products as possible on their e-commerce website. However, even though in e-commence you are not limited by space, you are limited by your marketing budget.
People find out about traditional stores by walking by them, and then if the store is in a good location many people will see the store and enter the store. While in e-commerce people find out about e-commerce stores through marketing. In e-commerce normally do marketing for products not the store so your marketing budget will be split across all the different products that you offer in your e-commerce store. So yeah, please understand that there are limitations in e-commerce and it is really easy to get tricked into thinking that you should have as many products as possible on your e-commerce website. But that is not the case. You should have a niche for your website and you should have a focused approach.
4. suitable product
the fourth thing that you should think about before you start an e-commerce business is whether the product that you plan to sell is suitable for e-commerce Not every product will be suitable for e-commerce. For example products that are really heavy and really big are hard to ship and therefore they wouldn’t be very suitable for e-commerce. Also products that are fragile are not good for e-commerce.
5. competitor research
the next thing that you should do before you start an e-commerce business is to perform some research on the competitors in the niche where you plan to be in. Yeah, so find out what other competitors are out there, what they are doing, what they are not doing and what are some things that you can do better. Because you have to find something that you can do better than them if you want to be successful. When you do this research if you find that there is one dominant company in that niche, stay away from that niche because it is really hard to compete against dominant players and it is better to be in a niche when there is a lot of small competitors.
6. define target market
Another thing that you should do before you start your e-commerce business is to define your target market. Many new e-commerce entrepreneurs think that because they can sell their product everywhere around the world, they think that their customer is everybody. And that is not the right way to think about it. Because even though there is billions of people on the internet, you only have a limited marketing budget and therefore you should use your marketing budget wisely and target people who are most likely to buy your products or services, and those people are called your target market. So yeah, spend some time thinking about your target market before you start your e-commerce business and define your target market very well so that you will see the best return on investment from your marketing budget.
7. learn digital marketing
another thing that you should do before you start an e-commerce business is to learn the basics of digital marketing. Because even though as an e-commerce entrepreneur you can hire a digital marketing agency or you can hire an employee to help you with digital marketing. You should still learn how digital marketing works so that you can guide your team and also you can understand the results that they are achieving for you. So as I said before, people find out about your e-commerce business online through digital marketing. Therefore, digital marketing is very essential for any e-commerce business and you cannot be a successful e-commerce entrepreneur today unless you understand at least the basics of digital marketing and the different digital marketing channels that we use to promote products today. One of the first marketing related things that you will need to do for your e-commerce business is to develop a brand identity and this involves a logo, brand colors, brand slogan. Therefore I recommend that you take a couple of branding courses too in addition to more pure digital marketing courses.
8. Be present on social media
Another thing that is very important for e-commerce businesses is to be present on social media and to have a well-balanced presence on social media. And, it think that it is never too early to start developing your audience on social even before you have a product or a service for your audience. Because if you already have an audience before you launch your e-commerce website that will help you hack your way to six or seven figure sales really quickly. So yeah, definitely start working on your social media profiles as soon as you can and don’t wait until you have a product or a service before you start developing your brand on social.
9. focus on customer experience
Amazon is the biggest e-commerce company in the world today, and do you know what Amazon is known for? Amazon is known for their relentless focus on their customers. Therefore, before you start your e-commerce business you should think about the end-to-end customer experience for all the customers that you will have the opportunity to serve. That starts with product design, product manufacturing, shipping, after-sales follow-up and basically everything. You should make sure that your customers have an excellent experience every time they are in contact with your business.
10. compare platforms
And the 10th piece of advice that I have for you today is to compare the different e-commerce platforms. So basically, there are different e-commerce platforms out there. Shopify is very popular. But also there are other platforms out there that you can use. But yeah definitely spend some time learning about the different e-commerce platforms that are available in order to select the platform that fits your needs the best.
I have a bonus tip for you today guys! And this is a really quick tip. But basically, at the end of this article I also wanted to say that e-commerce is not a get rich quick scheme. Some people seem to think that it is really easy to make money online and that they can open an e-commerce store and become millionaires overnight. That is not how it works. E-commerce requires a lot of time and effort and it is not a get rich quick scheme. However, I think e-commerce is the future of business, therefore if you are thinking about starting a business in 2020 or 2021 definitely focus on e-commerce businesses but don’t think that you will become a millionaire overnight, it will take a lot of time, effort and patience.